April, 15 2023


  • 10:00 am - 11:00 am
  •    |   Location of Session: Coates Chapel
  • Middle Grade Sessions
  • Start of Signing: 11:15 pm
  •    |   Signing Location: Festival Marketplace

About the Event

An action-packed adventure about the dragon apocalypse. A world where kids learn to transform into magical creatures to protect the natural world. In their new middle grade novels, Mari Mancusi (New Dragon City) and Christina Soontornvat (The Guardian Test: Legends of Lotus Island #1) talk about magical creatures, world-building, and how kids can use their power to change the world!

About the Authors

Christina Soontornvat - The San Antonio Book Festival Photo Credit: Sam Bond

Christina Soontornvat

Christina Soontornvat is the author of the Newbery Honor books The Last Mapmaker, A Wish in the Dark, and All Thirteen, which also won the Kirkus Prize and a Sibert Honor distinction. She is also the author of Scholastic’s beloved fantasy series Diary of an Ice Princess and several picture books, including To Change a Planet illustrated by Rahele Jomepour Bell, which received a starred review in Kirkus. Christina holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a master’s degree in Science Education. She spent a decade working in the science museum field, where she designed programs and exhibits to get kids excited about science and STEM. Christina lives in Austin, Texas. Her latest book is The Guardian Test (Legends of Lotus Island #1).

Mari Mancusi - The San Antonio Book Festival

Mari Mancusi

Mari Mancusi always wanted a dragon as a pet. Unfortunately, the fire insurance premiums proved a bit too large and her house a bit too small, so she chose to write about them instead. As an Emmy Award-winning former TV news producer, she now works as a full-time author, having published over two dozen books for kids, teens, and adults. When not writing, Mari enjoys traveling, cosplay, watching cheesy (and scary) horror movies, and playing video games. A graduate of Boston University, she lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband, Jacob, daughter, Avalon, and their two dogs. New Dragon City is her latest middle grade book about her favorite flying beast.


Mari Mancusi - The San Antonio Book Festival

Xavier Garza

Xavier Garza was born in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. He is an enthusiastic author, artist, teacher and storyteller whose work is a lively documentation of life, dreams, superstitions, and heroes in the bigger-than-life world of South Texas. He has received such recognitions as the Pura Belpre Honor book and the Libro de las Americas Honor book awards. He lives with his wife and son in San Antonio, Texas, and is the author of numerous books.

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